Marine Le Pen is often credited with mainstreaming her far-right party. But it isn’t just that she’s moderated its positions — it’s that the radicalization of establishment conservatives has made her seem less extreme by comparison.
Théo Aiolfi is a political scientist and Early Career Fellow at the University of Warwick, England.
Éric Zemmour’s presidential campaign didn’t go well — but it helped Marine Le Pen project a moderate image, including by denouncing his Nazi supporters. Far from a spoiler, Zemmour helped to shepherd traditional right-wing voters to her.
For years, Marine Le Pen has sought to break out of the far-right ghetto by pursuing a “populist popular front” beyond Left and Right. Today, her chosen reactionary themes have become mainstream — and she stands closer than ever to winning the presidency.